Matt Bee embraces ‘fresh challenges’ as he switches from Burnley to Blackburn Rovers

Former Burnley Women manager Matt Bee has embraced the ‘fresh challenge’ that lies ahead with Blackburn Rovers Ladies, writes Ashley Edwards.

Bee resigned from his role at Burnley in December and after two months, announced that he was joining Rovers Ladies.

Given the rivalry of the men’s team, this may have come as a surprise to the fans of both clubs.

However, Bee leaves behind many good memories for the Clarets and is now looking ahead to the future with Blackburn.

“It’s about a fresh challenge,” He said.

“It’s a Women’s Championship club and it’s a club I want to be at.

“I made no secret during my time at Burnley that I wanted to be in the Women’s Championship or the Women’s Super League at some stage.

“It would and was always going to take a lot of work.

“But I believed that I could get there and when the opportunity came, I was ready.”

Bee’s highlight whilst at Burnley was the back-to-back promotions that his side achieved.

(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Melissa Lawley of Liverpool and Dominique Cooper of Burnley in action at Lancashire FA County Ground on December 12, 2021 in Leyland, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Despite the women’s team not integrated with the men’s first team at the time, and the lack of resources that Bee and his team had, he managed to surprise the club and bring in their first trophy in 10 years alongside these promotions.

Burnley Women celebrate winning the FA WNL Division 1 North title in 2019. (Credit: Burnley Express)

He said: “What we achieved with the resources we had was phenomenal.

“Because a lot of people might look at that and think that with the men’s Premier League club, we’d have unbelievable resources.

“We didn’t…we had to work with what was there, and it was amazing to get the two promotions.

“The first one was needed because we needed to get out of that division, but the second one was against all odds really, with the age of the squad and where we were at.”

The league isn’t the only change for Bee, as he takes up a completely new role.

From being the first team manager at Burnley Women, he is now the Rovers Ladies first team coach and regional talent club Technical Director.

Alex BROOKS of Blackburn Rovers during the Women’s FA Cup 4th Round tie between Durham Women FC and Blackburn Rovers at Maiden Castle, Durham City on Sunday 30th January 2022. (Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

His on-field work in training will remain similar to what he did at Burnley.

However Bee will now work with younger players to help them with their careers at the club.

He said: “As the first team coach I’m working with Gemma Donnelly, who’s the first team manager.

“I’m leading a lot of the training sessions and the tactical work.

“And with the Technical Director side, that’s about the Regional Talent Club [RTC].

“That’s with the youth players that we have here and ensuring that the pathway gives the players the chance to progress and come through the age groups.

“Best case scenario, they go on to play for England or play for our first team and if not, preparing them for a future in football as well.”

This isn’t the first time that Bee has worked with the RTC system.

Prior to his role at Burnley, he worked with it in York.

Bee is looking to continue his success in women’s football and has his goals set.

He adds: “First of all, let’s keep pushing up through the Women’s Championship.

“We need to continue focusing on being realistic as it’s a challenging league.

“But you’ve also got to be ambitious – long-term, it’s about trophies.

“I want to bring trophies here for the players, for the club and for everyone.”